We all have a natural tendency to go straight for the money…
However, one thing I’ve learned from the wealthy is that there is something you have to do first if you want to not only become rich, but also stay rich.
I interviewed 75 successful entrepreneurs for the book Make Money, Live Wealthy, and person after person promoted the same message:
If you want to build a skyscraper, you must first build a strong foundation.
Skipping this step is the same reason that holds millions of people back from ever being able to get ahead with their finances and also causes lottery winners to end up broke a few years after winning big. So, to build true and massive wealth for the long-term, you really want to put a lot of emphasis on doing this first and foremost.
There are five common elements the wealthy talked repeatedly about that will allow you to build a fortune:
“Mindset isn’t an important thing. It is the only thing.” – Mark Sieverkropp
At the center of everything is the mindset: the way you think about wealth and success. Thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to actions, which ultimately lead to results. So, if you want better results (see: everyone), then you have to start with the right thoughts.
The right mindset consists of confidence, awareness, and an attitude of massive success. The rich think big and view the world as abundant, while the vast majority of us, however, become our own greatest enemy and learn to see the world through a lens of scarcity. We hold ourselves back from fulfilling our potential, and it isn’t until we create the right mindset, attitude and beliefs that massive wealth and success will show up in our lives.
“Your network; that is the #1 key to your success.” – David Wood
Your environment creates who you become, so building the right network is an absolutely essential part to building wealth. Having great success in any area of life isn’t always easy, so you need a motivating and supportive group of people around you that push, teach and inspire you to new heights. It’s hard to do it on your own, so don’t!
If you do one thing after reading this post, do this: improve your network. Go outside of your comfort zone, join both in-person and online groups, and find other people that are doing what you want to do. This will enable you to press the fast-forward button on your success while also giving you the safety net of support that is necessary for the journey.
“Know what you’re doing with your money. If you can’t manage what you’ve got, you can’t manage more. When you get your foundational money habits down, you’ll be able to expand.” –Ann Wilson
Let me repeat that: if you can’t manage what you’ve got, you can’t manage more!
People often say that they’d act differently if they had money, but the important thing to know is that the habits create the results – not the other way around. Millionaires often get that way by having great habits, doing them repeatedly, and letting time and compound interest work their wonders. Create the right habits now, so you don’t have to worry about money later.
“Wealth is something that can’t be taken away. I have a wealth of knowledge, and that is where true power lies.” –John Dumas
Before you earn, you have to learn. Countless experts highlighted in the book (including myself) started off in the corporate world before they eventually ventured off to be their own boss. It’s a great career path for many as you get paid to learn.
It’s hard to start something from scratch. What you need are experience and knowledge and then there are thousands of opportunities in front of you. Once you have knowledge and combine that with taking action, that is when you have absolute power.
“Become the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of your own life.” – J.D. Roth
The last part of having a strong foundation consists of having your finances in order, which include having no debt, the right protection (insurances as necessary), and an emergency fund.
Debt is “a parasite to wealth” as Ann Wilson calls it in the book, and it restrains millions from ever getting ahead with their finances. Compound interest either works for you or against you, and getting out of debt is the first major step towards being able to have it really work in your favor.
In addition, the only thing you can expect is for the unexpected to occur. So, you have to be prepared. Insurances, and especially an emergency fund, are the key ways to be prepared. Many experts suggested that someone should have a minimum of $10,000 or even 6 months worth of expenses set aside in an easily accessible account as job loss or other unfortunate things can (and will) happen. The key part is to expect challenges and surprises, and be ready for them so they don’t deter you from the riches you’re going to obtain.
So, that’s it. Build each of these five elements out and continue to reinforce them along the way, and you’ll be ready to hit the accelerator and take on more risk. The beautiful thing is that you can start each one of these items today. While you’re getting your finances in order, spend time daily learning the right habits and skills necessary to succeed as an investor and/or entrepreneur. Every week, spend time networking and connecting with people you admire, and no matter how much you know, focus on learning more.
By establishing these areas and making them strengths, you will start to build the momentum that will make riches not only possible, but also inevitable. Now, it is time to go build that tower.
Austin Netzley is an engineer turned investor, entrepreneur and now author. He is the founder of YoProWealth.com blog and podcast, as well as the author of the new book, Make Money, Live Wealthy: 75 Successful Entrepreneurs Share the 10 Simple Steps to True Wealth. For more information, visit MakeMoneyLiveWealthy.com.
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